“Abrie Beeslaar’s own label shot to early fame as one of the finest modern Pinotages to come out of the Cape.”
― Strauss&Co Auctions
Beeslaar Wines is a small family-run business, specializing in the production of handcrafted, high-end Pinotage wines, originating from a single-vineyard site in the heart of the Cape Winelands.
My love affair with Pinotage led me to establishing the brand in 2011, with the aim to produce wines that embody and personify the many beautiful characteristics of a grape variety that was born and bred in South African soils.
I was raised in the town of Worcester, situated in a major wine-growing region of the Western Cape, some 120 km’s north-east of Cape Town. Initially I wanted to study medicine, but fate (and the student culture at the University of Stellenbosch) steered me in another direction and I obtained a BSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology in 1997.
My first job was an internship at Windmeul Cellar in northern Paarl, and this was followed by a position at another large co-operative cellar, Swartland Winery in Malmesbury, as assistant winemaker. It was here where I met South Africa’s “King of Pinotage”, Beyers Truter, who regularly visited Swartland to select wines for his own Beyerskloof operation. We quickly realised that our common love for red wine, and more specifically Pinotage, would forge a friendship that continues to this day.
In 2003 I took over the role as winemaker at the world-renowned Kanonkop Estate, also famous for its production of world-class Pinotage wines, which further cemented my belief that South Africa’s national grape is worthy of competing with the best the world has to offer.
In 2011, my dream of making a truly unique Pinotage from a site-specific vineyard, was realised when I was offered the opportunity to work with grapes from a unique parcel of land in the Simonsberg region outside Stellenbosch, and Beeslaar Wines was born. I guess one could argue that I didn’t pick Pinotage – instead, it picked me.
From the start it was a family affair, with my wife Jeanne (who also hails from a grape farm in the Swartland) in charge of the office administration and logistics. My two children, son Ben and daughter Emma, are often seen lending a helping hand when it comes to preparing orders!